KDrama Bucket Listing: The Best Fan-service Korean Drama Romcoms

This new project of mine is a useful guide since you have decided to join the kdramaaddict community.  Kdramaworld has been running for quite a while so I’ll share you the dramas that you need to complete and you might have missed along the way.

Since we are celebrating the love month, let’s commence this bucket listing activity with trendy romantic comedy dramas.  These stories are typically what initiated your kdrama cravings.

The sighs, the swoons, the squeals, the hot flushes, the involuntary parting of our lips on the kiss scenes, the hot oppas, the we-wish-we-can-be-the-leadgirl-moments… There are a lot of reasons why we love these kind of dramas. Most of the dramas in this list are runaway hits, others have sweet chemistry between the main leads. These are love pills that we can watch over and over again every year, and yet we don’t get tired of it. These are my favorite fan service romcoms, what’s on your list?

 

♥My Name is Kim Sam Soon  (Hyun Bin and Kim Sun Ah)

Sam Soon’s love adventure gave hope to girls with weight insecurities that they can still snatch the man of their dreams as not all men are blinded by pretty faces and hot bodies.  *chuckles

This is where I first met Hyun Bin oppa and I fell in love with his then chubby cheeks. *lol  I was on my early 20’s when this was aired, and I was not hooked at that time.  But when I watched it in my late 20’s, I was able to appreciate it more because the heroine’s sentiments appealed to me probably because I was at the stage of my life when I endured love frustrations and experienced being blissfully in love.

This is my first dose of contract relationship and it endeared me a lot as it left a love lesson that no matter how extremely different a man and a woman is, spending time together and getting to know each other in the process would warrant a leap of romantic emotion that can result to a sweet love declaration.

 

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♥ Full House (Rain and Song Hye Gyo)

The modern Cinderella story of an aspiring scriptwriter and a famous actor who were forced to cohabitate when the former’s friends sold the house she inherited from her father.  We get a contract marriage plot in this love story which pushed the romance between a man and a woman who seemed unlikely to fall in love with each other.

The bickering scenes and the eventual falling in love were the strongest points of Full House.  The feel good premise still make me pick this drama when I don’t have anything on my plate to watch.  

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♥ Princess Hours (Joo Ji Hoon and Yoon Eun Hye)

Any princess story appeals to most girls right away.  With a distant and yet secretly warm prince portrayed nicely by Joo Ji Hoon oppa, I can’t help but love the nines on the clouds of high when I was watching Lee Shin and Chae Kyung’s royal love story.

My pillows suffered a lot from strangulation on the emotional and heart fluttering scenes.  Actually Goong had mostly melodramatic tones, but it was neutralized by the lead girl’s vibrant presence and optimism to survive in the arranged marriage she was forced to take for the sake of her family.

This is one youth drama you should not miss as it is one of the kdrama staple classics.

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♥ My Girl (Lee Dong Wook and Lee Da Hae)

I know right?  Contracts are often part of kdrama plots.  For “My Girl”, we have a business conglomerate heir hiring a con-woman to pretend as his long-lost cousin to appease his ill grandfather, but ended up trapped in the lie they created when they started falling in love with each other.

The strong second leads supported well the romantic development by playing well the annoying ex-girlfriend and the how-could-you-not-love-him second lead man.

“My Girl” had a consistently addictive run and nicely done closure credit it to the bubbly heroine and her chemistry with the workaholic lead man chaebol.  

I think this is where I first saw that lead-man-following-drunk-lead-girl scene which became a guaranteed cute scene on rom-coms.

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♥ The First Shop of Coffee Prince (Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun Hye)

This cross-dressing heroine and coffee shop owner’s love ride slayed the ratings with the unique premise on how their romance was imagined.  

It was so cute when Gong Yoo’s character disregarded everything and was okay to admit that he could possibly be a homosexual due to his growing feelings on his pretending-to-be-a-man lead girl.

Coffee Prince’s ending was also sweet as it wrap up with how the lead man let go of his girl for the mean time to pursue her own dreams.  This is a must-watch grandpa classic that will not lose its appeal even after a few decades from now.

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♥ Boys Over Flowers (Lee Min Ho and Gu Hye Sun)

Almost Paradise… Yay!  This is Lee Min Ho’s breakthrough performance that swept hallyuland like a storm during its run.  Finally adapting the famous Japanese manga, the Korean version gave a pretty depiction of the rich-boy-poor-girl love story by projecting an elaborated presentation of the wealth disparity of the main love couple.  Sprinkling it with the flower boy bromance and their side love stories cemented a victorious run for this youth drama.

“Boys over Flowers” is a great initiating drama to welcome you in kdramaland.  It is feel-good, buoyant and everything sweet perfect on movie marathon sessions and rainy days.

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♥ My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (Shin Min Ah and Lee Seung Gi)

Fusing Korean folklore to a modern lovestory was notched perfectly by chilsung cider addicted Mi Ho and her action star wanna-be lead guy.  When a nine-tailed fox was released from a painting she was imprusoned to, she sealed a deal with a free spirited guy who does not have any dream but to become an action star.

The arresting face and portrayal of Shin Min Ah made Mi Ho one of my all-time favorite kdrama characters.  Hong sisters blended the supernatural and folklore premise in this drama in an innovative approach to complement the modern setting.

This is where I first saw the reversal of roles for the lead couple.  The always curious heroine took charge in taking care of her lead man in the most part of the story.  

The quirky interaction of the lead couple until reaching the eventual love zone was something you would root for while you are watching the narrative.

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♥ You’re Beautiful (Jang Geun Seuk and Park Shin Hye)

When her twin brother met an accident, Go Mi Nyu, a nun-to-be was forced to assume her brother’s identity  (Go Mi Nam) who was posed to join a famous boyband.  Having spent most of her time in the convent Mi Nam worked hard to adapt in a new world of cohabiting with her fellow band members.

There are a lot to love about ANJELL and the main lead couple.  The second lead also made an impressive showing to shake the official love pairing.

“You’re Beautiful” was brimming with witty humor and sweet scenes which propelled its run to a strong fanbase.  I think this is also was the start of me stalking Hong sisters dramas.

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♥ You’ve Fallen For Me (Park SHin Hye and Jung Yong Hwa)

This youth drama set in a Music school was the fulfilment of the second love pairing that we did not get from “You’re Beautiful”.  The refreshing tone and the campus romance drew smiles and sigh in me as Lee Shin suited up to his campus hearthrob role effortlessly and effectively.  

The music, the youthful vibe, the college setting dates endeared this drama to me.  Maybe because it just went free flowing and did not exert effort in placing overly conceived central conflict.  “You’ve Fallen For Me” is light and comforting perfect for your stoic days.

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♥ Discovery of Love (Eric Moon and Jung Yu Mi)

Now this was not as popular as the rest of the dramas in this list, but it belonged to my all-time favorite love dramas because of its superb screenplay and storytelling.

Yeorum is a furniture maker who was caught between her present boyfriend and her first love.  “Discovery of Love” took an ingenious path to uncover the woes and inhibitions of a woman in confronting love confusions that involved weighing down the amount of pain and love you are prepared to invest in a relationship.

You will thank me later after you watch it.

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♥ Another Oh Hae Young (Eric Moon and Seo Hyun Jin)

Yes I think I can declare that I stalk Eric oppa’s dramas as he mostly pick interestingly done projects.

Another Oh Hae Young was the best romance drama for 2016 banking on its realistic approach on the frustrations and bliss of trusting the love willingly given to someone only to be disappointed for not reciprocating it well.

The hot kisses, the brave heroine and the weird journey on how fate intertwined the love couples were some of the things you would love in this drama.

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♥ Legend of the Blue Sea (Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hyun)

Freshly caught from the kdrama sea, this mermaid-conman romance gave us laugh fits and heart-fluttering moments.  The love-fueled-mind-reading ability of Heo Joon Jae was a favorite twist of mine in this drama.  I got a lot of laugh trips from those scenes.

The writing was almost perfect except from that last episode auto pilot ending.  Nevertheless, “Legend of the Blue Sea” will surely warm your heart with the overflowing love vibes sketched in past and present timelines with reincarnation plot on the side.

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♥ The Greatest Love (Cha Seung Won and Gong Hyo Jin)

When a top actor, Dokko Jin got entangled to a third-rate actress, a hilarious romance ensues as he battled out his emotions only to succumb to it when an equally adorable traditional doctor wields his intention to be with the lead girl.

This is the third Hong sisters entry on my list and the trademark smart humor on the writing was evident.  I loved Cha Seung Won in City Hall and even more in his overconfident character in this story.  Gong Hyo Jin as always brings out any character given to her.  Her submissive and kind attitude neutralized Dokko Jin’s strong persona and forced him to become a better person worthy to accept and give love.

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♥ Rooftop Prince (Park Yoo Chun and Han Ji Min)

Time-traveling and a clueless Joseon prince who was transported to modern times made me a happy camper on its weekly run  because of the Prince and his warriors hilarious adjustments to technology powered way of living.

The romance was an added bonus, but when I look back it is really the cute bromance that sealed this drama in my kdrama memory compartment.

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♥ Flowerboy Ramyun Shop (Jung Il Woo and Lee Chung Ah)

Dear drama, you know you got me at Jung Il Woo.  

“Flower boy ramyun shop” checked the romcom essentials of cohabitation, mean love triangle, and rich boy poor girl love line.  The adorable chasing of the lead man to win the heroine’s heart was crazily sweet and in turn secured Jung Il Woo a spot inside my heart.  *chuckles

 

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♥ The Lonely Shining Goblin (Gong Yoo, Lee Dong Wook and Kim Go Eun 

You have two wonderful love pairings to indulge on and an extra equally sweet bromance for dessert.  What more can you ask for?

Drawn in folklore and chimeric premise, consider Goblin as a karmic prize for kdramaaddicts’ loyal following.  The polished storytelling and amazing cast portrayal nailed a quintessential drama that you can share with your grandchildren in the future.

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♥ Reply 1997 (Seo In Gook and Jung Eun Ji)

I chose the first story from the Reply Franchise as it gave an impressive showing of a first love story as well as friendship turned romance narrative.  Nostalgic in its projection, “Reply 1997” will give anyone a trip back to those wistful memories of their young, unrequited love.

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♥ The Master’s Sun (So Ji Sub and Gong Hyo Jin)

My final Hong sisters drama on the list went to a spooky millieu and was successful in doing so.  A ghost-seeing woman has been burdened by her ability all her life.  When she finally bumped with the person who can shield her from the compelling ghost request she keeps getting with and without her warrant, she stuck by the prickly rich department store owner and soon after developed a relationship with him.

“Master’s Sun” exhibited the usual comedic and romantic writing brilliance of the Hong sisters.  I meant to watch this before because of So Ji Sub oppa and I got more than I asked for.

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♥ Queen In Hyun’s Man (Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo Inna)

Abby’s Man aka Queen In Hyun’s Man stirred an excitement in me due to its avant-garde story of a time traveling Joseon scholar who utilized his talisman powered time-space wrinkling ability to hide in the present time while brewing his next moves on fulfiling his duty to the deposed Joseon Queen. 

An actress helped him to adapt to contemporary living and they eventually fell in love with each other.  “Queen In Hyun’s Man” was hip and fun and affirmed that my decision to eat kdramas for breakfast was valid.  *chuckles  

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♥ Healer (Ji Chang Wook and Park Min Young)

“Healer” put me on my longest kdrama character crush.  It was so severe that I watched all Ji Chang Wook dramas even the ones that were not worth watching.  That’s how much impact the drama gave me.  

The love progression was steady and engaging in this drama and you bet I was in dreamy land after that Healer hideout kissing binge.  “Healer” is the fulfilment of any adult woman’s ideal man.  

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♥ Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joo Hyuk)

Credit the cast for their commitment to this coming of age drama.  It created an international cult following especially on the teens and the early-twenties.  “Weightlifting Fairy” was my first and last kdrama binge for 2016.  I initially had reservations if I will put it on my plate, but one night when I don’t have anything scheduled to watch anymore, I took it and was uncaring if I wake up the entire village with my laughter festival. 

This is the drama I will make my daughter watch when she goes to college so she can have an idea of the perfect college boyfriend.  *wink

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♥ Oh My Venus (So Ji Sub and Shin Min Ah)

There were a lot of sighs, swoons, melting moments and heart-stopping arrests when I watched coach-nim and Daegu beauty realized their love potential through a weight loss program.

To reclaim her goddess body, a woman sought the help of a famous weight loss coach to carry on with her project.  He was initially adamant about it, but she trapped him by threatening how she will reveal his identity to the world if he does not agree.  

“Oh My Venus” oozed with sweet, steamy scenes that will tickle your heart and imagination.  If you are on a weightloss program, watch this so coach-nim can inspire you.

 

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♥ Descendants of the Sun (Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Gyo)

Suave and prettily written, Captain Yoo Si Jin won my heart in his cool depiction of a military elite officer who got the girl he dreamt of even when their careers inhibit them to spend quality time with each other.

Thanks to Song-Song couple’s right on the dot chemistry, they were able to pull off a breathtaking lovestory that will be forever loved by many like me.

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♥ Something About 1% 2016 (Ha Suk Jin and Jeon So Min)

Cropping unnecessary scenes and light on its conflict, Something About 1 Percent is the exact description of a fan-service drama.

Jae In and Da Hyun’s love story progressed in an addictive pace through their sweet kisses.  It is a big, pink bubblewrap drama that will comfort you when you want to be alone after a break-up.

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♥ Oh My Ghost (Jo Jung Seok and Park Bo Young)

A virgin ghost hosted on a meek woman’s body to get a formal passport to afterlife.  The ghost helped the timid girl worked on the crush she harbored on the Chef of the restaurant she was working.  Chef-nim mistook the sudden changes in her personality as a psychological disorder and tried to help on but nurtured emotional feelings in the process.

“Oh My Ghost” was a quirky watch that will give you laugh fit and enough knee-weakening scenes to feed your love cravings.

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♥ It’s okay, this is love (Jo In Sung and Gong Hyo Jin)

Kdramaland has displayed refreshing love stories through the years and it keeps getting better.   The love story between a famous writer with some psychological issues and a psychiatrist was a runaway hit for me in 2014.  And not just because of Jo In Sung oppa, but due to the cast that you can’t help but fall in love.

It’s okay, this is love fulfilled the promise of a lingering chronicle of ardent love.  It may not appeal to tweens and young women but I’m sure that women in their 30’s will appreciate it a lot.

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♥ Fated to Love You (Jang Hyuk and Jang Na Ra)

When I look back on this drama, I can’t help but remember Jang Hyuk oppa’s outrageous laugh.  hahaha

“Fated to love you” tells the story of a one night stand that brought together an unlikely to fall in love couple.  Left with no choice they got married, but misunderstandings  and losing their baby separated them unfortunately.  Years after fate brought them together again and they finally get the validation that they have always been meant to be.

This is probably my favorite Jang Na Ra drama because it achieved a balanced story of how relationships have reasons why they are not meant to be at a particular moment.

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♥ A Gentleman’s Dignity (Jang Dong Gun and Kim Ha Neul)

Before the Goblin-GrimReaper Bromance, the brotherhood in this drama was my most favorite.  The snappy storyline and side love stories were some of the reasons why I picked this drama.  This is one of the earlier dramas from Goblin/DOTS writer so you will get an idea on how she has really worked on her skills over the years.

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♥ My Princess (Song Sung Heon and Kim Tae Hee)

The long lost last princess of Korea was found and to prepare her for her royal duties, the grandson of a rich family who nurtured the princess family wealth prepped her up in facing her new responsibilities.  Think Princess Diaries + Pretty Woman.

This is the first bribe I got from both the actors to notice them and they were successful in forming a cheery love story.

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♥ Myungwol the Spy (Eric Moon and Han Ye Seul)

A serving of a North Korean spy who got entangled emotionally with a South Korean top actor needed nothing else to convince me in watching it.

This is one hilarious romcom spectacle you should not miss.

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♥ Personal Taste (Lee Min Ho and Son Ye Jin)

The cute twist of the heroine misconceiving her lead man to be homosexual plus the cohabitation ride that slowly but surely built up the romance, this is the drama that secured Lee Min Ho a slot on my radar as I enjoyed their story immensely.

There are a lot of love and life lessons for women to learn on this drama as Gae In provided her insights on how focusing on personal dreams should come first before frustrations.

A must watch Lee Min Ho drama to add on your plate if you have just recently started liking him.

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♥ Secret Garden (Hyun Bin and Ha Ji Won)

This body-swapping stunt woman and chaebol love story exceeded everyone’s expectations in nailing an experimental supernatural love story.  

I swear that curl up sweet scene still make my heart flutters.  *chuckles  “Secret Garden” showed a reversal of gender roles as we are given a heroine with unfazed attitude who fell in love with a rich man who did everything to make her love him.

Now that I remember the “rain twist”.  There’s something about rain that makes it a staple twist in kdrama stories as projected in Goblin, My GF is a Gumiho and Secret Garden.  Anyway, I loved Hyun Bin here more than his stint in Samsoon probably because I am more inclined to like unusually imagined story premise.

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♥ Sungkyunkwan Scandal (Park Yoo Chun, Park Min Young and Yoo Ah In)

For me “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” is still my best pick for both school and youth drama even when the drama is set in Joseon era.  If you are curious why then take some time off and spend time with these scholar flower boys plus the cross dressing heroine.

If you liked the recent Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds, the missing nudges on that drama were effortlessly notched in Sungkyunkwan Scandal.

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♥ W:  Two Worlds (Lee Jong Suk and Han Hyo Joo)

“W” strode a scintillating first half but fell short on the labyrinth and depth of the ambitious plot the writer conceived.  Nonetheless, Kang Chul sweetly haunted my weak heart as he romanced his lady love.

Kang Chul is everyone’s dream guy and more.  If you want to forget a recent relationship set back feel free to enter the worlds of Kang Chul.

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♥ You From Another Star (Jun Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun)

Since my favorite actress headlined this drama, it was already a given that I secured a spot for my busy time to watch it simultaneously as it aired.  In 2015, I let kdramas conclude first before I delve on them.  I had to break it because I trusted the girl who brought me to Hallyuland that she was up for a brilliant project.  She did not prove me wrong and I was on high savoring the beautiful alien and top actress love story that served as a lesson to current kdrama actresses roster to learn how rom-com should be done.  Kim Soo Hyun was a bonus like equivalent to $1 Million dollars.  The impeccable chemistry of the lead couple surged a memorable love story that would appeal to anyone.

“You From Another Star” is still my all time top pick for the Best Romcom Drama ever produced in kdramaland.  

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The Boy the Girl love, but can’t love even more

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Having two equally gorgeous men fighting for the lead girl’s love has always been a kdrama rom-com cliché.  It challenges how unrequited the love of the main couple is and most of the time functions as a consolation for the female viewers.  I always have moments like that when I get hit with second-lead- adoration syndrome, where I like the other man more than the lead man.  But it will always take a very strong portrayal to sway me otherwise in focusing on the prince in a kdrama story and whenever that happens, and I’m sure most of kdrama addicts like me would agree, it will be a hair-tugging moment because of its sweet dilemma effect.  So because in some Heavenly reason, I am enjoying a princess moment here at work, and because I keep seeing Yoo Ah In/King Sukjong when I’m not thinking of something, I remembered how I fell in love with him for the first time and has been loving the moment of being in love with him everytime… *wink

So I delved more in the memory lane and thought of my favorite KDrama Second Lead Men.  Who’s yours?  ^_^

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♥Sungkyungkwan Scandal – Yoo Ah In as Moon Jae Shin

Who wouldn’t fall for this bad boy by day rebel at night Sungkyunkwan scholar?  After his F4 Joseon stint I became his stalker.  He gets even steamier as you stare at him and he has the sexiest smile from all the sageuk characters I’ve seen so far.

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♥ I Miss You – Yoo Seung Ho as Harry Borrison

I struggled big time in disliking Barry in this tearjerker.  I remained firm in understanding his noona-romance and vengeance driven self.  Why?  His face was just so drowning to watch I can’t bring myself to hate him.

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♥ Flower Boy Ramyun shop – Lee Ki Woo as Choi Kang Hyuk

The topless scene sent me in ohlala land.  Another I-have-to-give-way-to-my-brother kind of love that was almost in equal contention and considering how I loved Jung Il Woo, Lee Ki Woo was really a delightful treat in this first flower boy spectacle.

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♥ I Need Romance – Choi Jin Hyuk as Bae Sung Hyun

Before being the cute daddy-gumiho-turned-devil, he was the rebound-guy-whose-love-was-reciprocated but the first love of the lead girl still prevailed but at least he got to kiss the lead girl a lot.  *giggles

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♥ Gaksital – Park Ki Woong as Kimura Shunji

In Gaksital I enjoyed both the bromance and the real romance tug-of-war.  I liked how Shunji embraced his dark side overnight but was easily disarmed because of the love he harboured towards the lead girl.

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♥ You’re Beautiful Jung Yong Hwa as Kang Shin Woo

The gentle band member who secretly loved the kind-hearted-novice-pretending-to-be-her-twin-brother and the guy best friend who always offer his shoulder to cry on.  He was too late to realized he should have been braver enough to get the love of the girl he liked.  When it hit him, she already fell in love with another guy and he settled in loving her from afar.

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♥ Boys Over Flowers – Kim Hyun Joong as Yoon Ji Hoo

Playing this classic side of a love triangle, he has a lot to prove but his serious attitude and princey face has won so many hearts including mine.  In those times when Jun Pyo’s indecisive nature can’t stood up for his woman, I was thankful Ji Hoo was there to stay by the lead girl’s side.

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♥ My Girl – Lee Jun Ki as Seo Jung Woo

I am not a Lee Jun Ki fan but I best remember him in My Girl.  He started that Hyung-loved-the-same-girl-I-love-I-have-to-give-way mantra but I really felt sorry for him not getting the girl even if his love was super sincere in that drama.

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♥ The Greatest Love – Yoon Kye Sang as Yoon Pil Joo

The sweet dork doctor who saw through the best of the lead girl and was firm in believing her pure heart amidst the reputation she gained due to the cruelty of the people who judged her without even knowing the story.  One of the best showdown on who can love more the lead girl I have seen so far. 

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♥ I Do I Do – Park Gun Hyung as Jo Eun Sung

The stethoscope “will you marry me?” scene will always be one of my favourite romantic love declaration scene done by a second lead.  I actually was routing for the lead man in this drama the whole time.

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♥ May Queen – Jae Hee as Park Chang Hee

This was a case of borrowed love but then eventually the love destined to happen overpowered Chang Hee’s seasoned love and found another love again which he deserved.

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♥ My Flower Boy Neighbor – Kim Ji Hoon as Oh Jin Rak

Bubbly Enrique amused me but I was also into Jin Rak’s secret love-daily milk and encouragement giving way of showing he likes the girl so much.  When the series ended I equally loved them both.

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The girl who loved the Flower Boys in the Ramyun Shop

 

This was my 2011’s last quarter addiction, and what a way to end that year dreaming of Jung Il Woo’s flirty eyes.

It is a definite rom-com drama at its best, full of sweetness, charm and endearing characters that you will surely adore. 

Jung Il Woo is a big pile of bubble wrap.  He always give me that comforting feeling if I’m bored, mad, stoic and saturated and he’s been thriving in my fantasies for a while now… and no you don’t get to ask me to share those fantasies, but if you’ll insist… I won’t submit.  *wink

It was one of the quirkiest-so-pleasing-to-watch-cast-ensembles.   You will keep in your heart the love story, the characters in lead and supporting roles, the humor, the wit, the love triangle sometimes love polygon, and the drama moments.

Cha Chi Soo is the heaven’s gift to women.  He is rich, handsome and knows how to lure ladies to submit to his whims.  He met his match to a woman he never expected he will be falling in love with.

The second male lead “Pillar”, Choi Kang Hyuk, who made me happily slept imagining his buff body was a long lost half- brother to Chi-soo and has fallen in love with the same girl his brother likes.  He used to be Eun-bi’s father student and took care of the Ramyun shop business when his old master died.  He also assumed his husband-to-be-role to Eun-bi because he made an agreement with her dad in a paper and crayon marriage pledge that is sooooo binding. 

Ergo the quest to win Yang Eun Bi’s heart was set to be fulfilled, with two equally dashing men claiming to be her prince.  So what I did and would have wanted to wish if there was a genie at that time is to enter a portal so I can be at Eun Bi’s character, enjoying Kang Hyuk’s ramen and sweet, romantic moves and anticipating Chi-soo’s devilish see how much I love you antics.

Chi-soo and Kang-hyuk happened to share the same mother, but the mom opted to be with Kang-hyuk and his dad thus Chi-soo was never aware of his hyung’s existence and what he’s missing growing up was filled by his chaebol father, thus he grew up flamboyant and always wanting to get what he desires. Including me… *giggles

Eun-bi has been estranged to his father and used to be a great volleyball player.  She has also struggled with her previous relationship when after her boyfriend’s military service he dumped her over another girl.  When her father died she went back to their old house and lived with Kang-hyuk, her little adopted brother and Chi-soo’s friend.  Just as she was not believing with her man-luck anymore, they invaded her life and her world and her heart were turned upside down.

The series tackled the different fears of falling in love.  On Eun-bi’s perception, she was crossed with falling for someone out of her league, and it made her even more confused when Kang-hyuk tries claiming ownership of her too.  In Chi-soo’s mind, his passion over wanting to be with Eun-bi when he finally admitted his feelings for her was overflowing that it sometimes drowning Eun-bi who was still in the process of healing with so many things that happened in her life. 

What I loved in this drama was when Chi-soo and Kang-hyuk set to claim the cup on Eun-bi’s heart.  It felt like Legolas and Gimli boasting at their orc kills.  The kiss scene after Chi-soo snatched Eun-bi while she was on a date with Pillar, was the defining kdrama kiss for me so far.  It was like “you are mine” kiss nailed and defined.

I was so puppy faced all throughout my stay at Flowerboy Ramyun Shop.  I craved for more and they sufficed me beyond what I expected.  I got the closure I hoped for and this will be included in my yearly series to watch tradition.

 

Abby’s 2011 Korean Drama Picks ^_^

 

 

My 2011 officially ends at the end of November, that’s why I’m going to have this year-end report.  *giggles (just kidding)

It’s just that since I’ll be very busy come Christmas season (I was deprived of Christmas and New Year’s eve in the past 5 years), I decided to write my thoughts about how I enjoyed staying at KDramaLand this year.

No ratings…  

I’ll just pick my BEST 10 Korean Dramas this year.

As to what my deciding points are?

The drama while it was airing should:

  •  Made me ditch a work day because I got disarmed by its adoring vibe, I have to watch it online to satisfy my addiction.
  •  Held me sleepless and zombie-like at work because my mind dwelt at what’s going to happen in the story and how prince-like and endearing the main lead actor was.  *blush
  •  Stimulated my emotions and rejuvenated the love nerves in my body big time. 

P.S I don’t care about the minor lapses in the technical aspect as long as I enjoyed watching it.  I let the producers and directors do their job as the creators, and I let myself do my job as a kdrama addict and blogger.

So without further adieu, here are my best choices for the KDramas aired this year. ^_^

Dream High (Jan-Feb 2011) – Fresh, full of music, and with a lot of youthful vibes..  It is the kind of watch you want after a suicidal traffic day.  The interesting characters were able to build up their personages in a manner that made their character striking and adorable.  The music was soothing, and I firmly believe that it’s gorgeous, and even better than Glee.  (and not because I’m Asian)

Set in a music school, pristine preppies will work hard in proving their potentials and skills as it intertwines with their personal issues, rivalries, friendship and romance.

♥ My Princess (Jan-Feb 2011) – The popularity of Kim Tae Hee and Song Seung Heon hasn’t reached me yet.  I don’t know if they will get to the point of it, but they haven’t occupied a space in my heart yet.  But I liked the outcome when they starred in one of the opening spectacles of this year.  It may not have given me the “my-girl-ish” kind of fondness, but there are really moments that I was able to painfully and delightfully relate to the characters.

The long lost princess of Korea will embark on re-claiming the honor of her royal family in the modern times, but it will not be easy owing to her need to prove her worth as a princess to her country which she herself is clueless as to how to pull it off and the evident rivals determined to stop the Monarchy’s re-emergence.  She has to rely between the devil and the deep blue sea to achieve what was expected of her.

This drama has been Kim Tae Hee’s way of saying sorry to me after I saw her movie Grand Prix. (Pardon me, I’m having a Princess moment here… *giggles)  Also, this is my favorite Seong Heon oppa’s performance to date.

Sassy couple fights, well rendered sweet hero display, and the mischievous yet vulnerable princess… These are some of the reasons why this love tale was pleasing and captivating.

♥ The Greatest Love aka Best Love – I was infatuated and in the dreamy land the whole duration of its airing.  How can this kimchi delight got so interesting and love affirming each episode was a question only the Hong sisters I guess can answer.  It was an early birthday present as Dokko Jin and Pil-joo made my heart so confused on whose side would I belong.  Every story arc crawled in my system vigorously resuscitated my dying love veins.

Ae Jung tried to stay afloat in the show business, and in a twist of fate she encountered the top-star, overbearing but you-can’t-help-but-fall-in-love-with Dokko Jin.  Ae Jung could have been cousins with Rapunzel as equally gentle, traditional doctor Pil-joo joined the love boat.  The bragging of the lead men of what they can do to make her happy and her own fight to build up the reputation that was mistakenly tainted brought me to romantic oblivion.

Captivating, clever and undeniably charming.  ^_^  Cha Seung Won, how do you age and yet you still manage to be oozingly hot?

Baby-faced Beauty (May-July 2011) – Coming from a TV hiatus, Jang Nara proved her worth in this TV interlude.  The persona she portrayed was engaging, full of hope and heart-warming.  The villain vibes balanced the typical “bully-the-damsel-in-distress” owing to the fact that they paved the way to bring out the eventual transformation of the primary character from being meek and forbearing to being confident and reasonably defiant.

Staged in the Fashion Design Industry the female protagonist will try to win back the dream she forced herself to forget because she has to raise money for her family when she was younger.  Blessed with a youthful look, she assumed her little sister’s identity to work as a fashion designer.  Her acquiescent attitude and her brimming talent will lead her to retrieve her lost yearning but she has to bear and overcome jealousy, personal confidence issues, and a budding romance in the work place.

♥ City Hunter (May-July 2011) – It was perfectly directed, crisply written and impeccably conceived.  Every episode was not a bore and every cliff-hangers will really give you the sadistic anticipating feel.  yes, Lee Min Ho is growing Zeus-like in each drama he has been, more so in here.  Park Min Young finally made my official favorite KdramaLady leads in her vivacious portrayal here. 

The main male lead was trained since young to be strong and mighty in preparation of his upcoming superhero-ish act in the future.  Jump forward to the future he plots on revealing corrupt government officials who also damaged his father’s life.

If you are looking for a solid and gripping story, here’s for your taste.  If your boyfriend is too manly, here’s something you can share with him that will not make him complain. 

You’ve Fallen For Me aka Heartstrings (June-Aug 2011) – Lee Shin and his boy-next-door-rockstar-god-self. (I could not ask for more. *giggles) 

It was a quintessential young romance at its best and simultaneously cupid’s favorite love tale personified.

It is a classic hate-that-I-love-you television spectacle that will swept the audience off their feet due to its invigorating romantic spirit.

Campus heartthrob Lee Shin crossed path with traditional music student.  It started as a one-sided love on the girl’s part, but eventually he realized her worth.  It will remind you of the lazy afternoons with your first love and the feel of not wanting to end the day when you had your first young love.

Vibrant and full of exuberance, I’m sure you’ll not get tired of watching it as much as you can.

♥ Scent of A Woman – (July-Sept 2011) – It is my favorite Korean drama to date.  It swept me off my feet without even trying and not just because Dong Wook oppa was really nice, sweet and hot there.  It’s just that the drama was a total package.  It was simple, classic, comforting and with lots of emotions.  It was an epitome of a perfect love story.  It was not just that of a man and a woman in their unrequited love, but a person’s realization of how powerful love is.  It was love for your mother, for your friend, for yourself and for this life.

A dying woman deprived herself of the many wonderful things to try in her life.  She then sets to experience all the things she’s missing on the remaining days of it, but when she fell in love, she will bargain with time as she realized a reason for her to live.

If you won’t fall for this story, I really think Mars needs moms.  Just kidding.  It’s undeniably love and life-affirming.  ^_^

Myung-wol the Spy (Jul-Sept 2011) – The endearing eye-candy Kang-woo and the equally loveable and charming Myung-wol were the source of a few weeks of bliss and cheerfulness for me.  I had a little issue when the closure was nearing, but granted that Eric has been recently my September month boyfriend, I’ll let it pass.  I will just etch the happy and flirty moments with them.

This dandy show was oozing with cute couple bickerings.  The premise of having the heroine protecting the leading man was a relief on the usual vulnerable leading ladies needing a chaebol-in-the-shining-armor to rescue them.

A North Korean spy, Myungwol, infiltrated South Korea in her goal to seduce Hallyu supahstar Kang-Woo.  Her persistence will pay off but her true intention will make or break an impossible love affair.

The Princess’ Man (July-Oct 2011) – I’m perpetually in spat with my attention problems, that’s why I don’t watch much of period dramas, but Park Shi Hoo haunted me sweetly in my dreams, and when I’m awake so it came to pass that I camped in our living room and focused myself in watching this sageuk production.  Good thing that they started rom-com because it got my system glued conditioned to stay, because if not considering how heavy the plot and how I detested the villain of the story, I would have been banished by Shi-hoo while I was watching the remaining episodes.

The setting was in the reign of Crown Prince Su-yang.  It was Romeo and Juliet with a vile father in between.  This is full of drama but not in a tear-jerker kind of way.  It was a love that the heavens won’t allow, but the ardor of the lovers sufficed to permit their forbidden passion.

P.S  My brother liked this drama, he stayed with it for almost 20 hours, at some point I dozed off, but he remained fervently loyal.  For this drama to catch my brother’s taste, it must be something, just saying.

♥ Flower Boy Ramyun Shop (Oct-Dec 2011) – There were two things that happened so sweetly to my KDramaLand stay this year… Scent of a Woman and my newest favorite which now shares the top spot for my highly-recommended Kdramas – Flower Boy Ramyun Shop… 

The light, feel-good and fast-paced vibe sent me wanting for more, and ended up being satisfied as each episode ends.  Without trying that much the characters grew on me and Cha Chi Soo tied with Dokko Jin this year for my favorite male leads.  One of the best for 2011, it swept me off my feet the way Prince Charming could have never done it to me.  Charming and full of romantic bliss plus a Second Lead as an extra perk, you’re a descendant of Lord Voldemort if you fail to appreciate it.

Rich kid Cha Chi Soo struggled in the realization of the emotions he was feeling opposite a lady he never thought he would harbor feelings for.  Set in a ramyun shop, the lively characters and the witty plot will surely win your preference and heart.  *giggles

P.S Having gained a lot of mementos from watching these fascinating dramas this year, I prepared this list to appreciate and take notice of what it has been in the KDramaHaven in the past almost 365 days.

(Also I’m still in the process of watching Vampire Prosecutor, A Thousand Day Promise, Tree With Deep Roots, Man of Honor and The Musical. Should I find any interesting there, I’ll just update this as soon as I can)

Best Male Second Leads

– Lee Ki Woo as Choi Kang Hyuk (Flower-boy Ramyun Shop)

– Yoon Kye Sang as Yoon Pil Joo (The Greatest Love)

Best Female Second Lead

– Kim Min Seo as Kang Yoon Seo (Baby-faced Beauty)

Best Male Performance

– Park Shi Hoo as Kim Seung Yoo (The Princess’ Man)

Best Female Performance

– Kim Sun Ah as Lee Yeon Jae (Scent of a Woman)

Hall-of-Famer Character

– Cha Seung Won as Dokko Jin (The Greatest Love)

Best Scene-stealer Characters

– Kim Sang Ho as Bae Man Deok (City Hunter)

– Im Se Mi as Cha Bo Woon (You’ve Fallen for me)

Best Kick-ass Character

– Lee Min Ho as Lee Yoon Sung (City Hunter)

Best Feel-good character

– Kim Tae Hee as Lee Seol (My Princess)

Best Inspiring Character

– Jang Na Ra as Lee So Young (Baby-faced Beauty)

Best “blush-inducing-character”

– Jung Yong Hwa as Lee Shin (You’ve Fallen For Me)

Best cuddly-bear-character

– Kang Min Hyuk as Yeo Joon Hee (You’ve Fallen For Me)

Best Love-you-Hate-you character

– Kim Sang Joong as Lee Jin Pyo (City Hunter)

Best Lead Man Kisser

– Jung Il Woo as Cha Chi Soo (Flower Boy Ramyun Shop)

Best you-can’t help-but-drool-character

– Lee Dong Wook as Kang Ji Wook (Scent of a Woman)

Best I-want-to-see-you-in-my-dream character

– Hero Jaejoong as Cha Moo Won (Protect the Boss)

– Eric as Kang-woo (Myungwol the Spy)

Best Chaebol Prince Character

– Song Seung Hun as Park Hae Young (My Princess)

– Jung Il Woo as Cha Chi Soo (Flower Boy Ramyun Shop)

Best Couples

– Kim Na Na and Lee Yoon Sung (City Hunter)

– Cha Chi Soo and Yang Eun Bi (Flower Boy Ramyun Shop)

– Lee Yeon Jae and Kang Ji Woon (Scent of a Woman)

Best Bromance

– Lee Yoon Sung and Bae Man Deok “ajussi” (City Hunter)

Best Villain

– Kim Young Chul as Prince Suyang (The Princess’ Man)

Best Ensemble Cast

– Flower Boy Ramyun Shop

Best Fight Scenes

– The Princess’ Man and City Hunter

Best Story

– The Greatest Love

Best Editing

– The Princess Man

Best Directing

– City Hunter

Best Scriptwriting

– The Greatest Love and Flower Boy Ramyun Shop

Best Drama

– The Princess’ Man and City Hunter

Best Chocolatey Sweet Drama

– The Greatest Love and Flower Boy Ramyun Shop

Best Tears and Bliss Drama

– Scent of a Woman

Best Jaw-dropping moment

– The ending scene of City Hunter

Best I’m-running-out-of-tissue scene

– Chae Eun Suk’s crying scene after his patient died (Scent of a Woman)

– Choi Kang Hyuk letting go of Eun-bi scene (Flower Boy Ramyun Shop)

Best Cotton-candy darling scenes

– Kang Ji Wook fulfilling Yeon-jae’s bucket list

– Piljoo and Dokko Jin’s shoes auction battle

– Lee Shin and Kyu-won’s relationship coming out scenes

Best Love Declaration Scene

– Yang Eun Bi’s love declaration to Cha Chi Soo

– Kang Ji Wook’s declaration of love to Yeon-jae

Best See How Much I Love you scene

– Lee Se Ryung taking the arrow hit for Seung-yoo (The Princess Man)

– Yoon-sung giving blood to Kim Nana after she took the bullet for him (City Hunter)

Best Kiss

– Se Ryung and Seung Yoo surrounded by the temple lights kiss

– Chi Soo snatching Eun-bi from a date with Kang-hyuk and giving her the kiss of jealousy